Thu, 09 Feb 2023

Sydney [Australia], November 26 (ANI): Adelaide Strikers won their maiden WBBL title in the third attempt after they produced a clinical performance to upset two-time champions Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on Saturday.

In front of a Sixers-heavy crowd of 6478 at the North Sydney Oval, Strikers eventually won the WBBL trophy for the first time after twice becoming runners-up in the previous three seasons.

Sydney Sixers' record-breaking 11 wins in the regular season came up short as they had a spectacular top-order collapse. Deandra Dottin put forth a stellar all-around performance, and Darcie Brown's pace won two crucial wickets.

Deandra Dottin, the Windies all-rounder, was the standout with both the bat and the ball. She scored an unbeaten 52 off 37 balls to lead her team to a total of 7-148 before taking the crucial wickets of Suzie Bates (10) and Ashleigh Gardner (0) to cause a top-order collapse.

The Sixers top-order was in ruins at 4-16 thanks to Australian speedster Brown (2-15) and Dottin (2-30), and despite Ellyse Perry (33) and Nicole Bolton (32) trying to save their pursuit, the Strikers were able to bowl out the Sixers for 138 on the last ball of the innings.

In the third over, Maddie Penna and Bridget Patterson each dropped a catch to prevent Brown from taking the wicket of Suzie Bates twice.

With her penultimate delivery, however, the Australian fast struck gold for the third time; Penna this time hung onto the catch to remove Alyssa Healy for one.

After Dottin removed Bates (10) and tournament player of the year Ashleigh Gardner (0) in a double-wicket maiden, the Sixers were reduced to 3-13.

When Tegan McPharlin fumbled but ultimately succeeded in stumping Erin Burns (1) off Jemma Barsby's spin, that changed to 4-16.

Bolton joined Perry, and the two remained steady, bringing the Sixers to 4-43 at the halfway point of the innings, still 105 runs short of their goal.

In her final professional game, Bolton displayed her talent, scoring three boundaries in a 60-run partnership with her captain until McGrath rattled her stumps in the 14th over.

With the required rate edging above 12 an over, Perry's performance at her favourite arena held the key to the Sixers' chances.

She reached the boundary in the following over from Brown, but when she was bowled the next ball, the Sixers' tail was left to accomplish a miracle with 66 runs still needed from 31 balls.

In her comeback from a back injury, Maitlan Brown cleared the rope, but her extremely entertaining 34 off 16--which cheered up the home crowd--was insufficient as wickets kept falling at the other end.

Earlier, after choosing to set the Sixers a target, Dottin took advantage of three opportunities and scored an unbeaten fifty to help the Strikers reach 5-147.

After putting on 51 runs in the first six overs as the openers for the strikers, Katie Mack (31 off 26) and Laura Wolvaardt (15 off 16), Kate Peterson continued her tendency for getting big wickets by getting the South African caught at gully chasing a broader delivery.

Later, Mack completed an over under unique circumstances by stepping on her own stumps and returning to Sophie Ecclestone's spin (2-19).

She was only the second player to be dismissed in that manner in the history of the WBBL; the other was Suzie Bates, a player for the Perth Scorchers.

The Sixers' jubilation were stopped short when Deandra Dottin was twice caught off no balls on balls five and eight. The first time, off Peterson, she was quickly signalled out, while the second time, off Perry, she was called after a third umpire review.

McGrath blasted the second free hit into the hill for six, but her promising start came to an end when she was caught trying to clear the mid-on boundary on 24 off 21. This was Nicole Bolton's first wicket of the season.

The Sixers, who eliminated Patterson (7) and Penna (0), the heroes from Thursday's Challenger final, won the Power Surge handily while surrendering just seven runs.

Dottin, though, increased the ante by scoring 34 runs from the final three overs, including a huge six into the hill, and reached her half-century with a scoop off the final ball of the innings.

The West Indies all-rounder was declared 'Player of the Match' for her performance. (ANI)

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